Pretty UK seaside towns in crisis as 60 beaches hit with sewage warning | UK | News

Dozens of pretty seaside towns in Devon and Cornwall are in crisis after beaches were hit with around 60 sewage warnings in the space of a few hours.

In Devon, 29 beaches suffered sewage overflows in a 48 hour period according to Surfers Against Sewage.

Meanwhile, in Cornwall, more than 30 beaches were hit by sewage overflow alerts as the waters became more and more polluted.

The crisis comes after the Government announced that water companies were investing millions of pounds into reducing the number of sewage overflows that have blighted the UK’s coastline.

There were storm sewage alerts in place at 32 beaches as of Saturday evening.

These included beaches dotted all around the county that are popular with holidaymakers during the spring and summer months. Beaches such as Kingsand, Cawsand, East Looe, Swanpool, and Polzeath have been affected.

The hope is that with increased investment from water companies, counties with beautiful coastline like Cornwall and Devon won’t see such a large spike in sewage warnings in the future.

South West Water, which covers Devon and Cornwall, recently announced it was investing £32million into schemes to stop sewage overflows. This is part of a total £180m investment being made by all water companies.

These schemes will include new sewage monitors, artificial intelligence systems, and recruiting new specialist staff to deal with the issues.

The Government has said that these measures could stop up to 8,000 spills per year into Britain’s rivers and coastlines.

In a statement confirming the nationwide investment, Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said: “The amount of sewage being spilt into our rivers is completely unacceptable and the public rightly expects action.

“This money will mean more cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence, and more specialist staff to detect and reduce spills. Today’s announcement builds on significant work by this Government to protect and strengthen our waters with increased investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement action.”

However, not everyone is convinced that while the new investment was welcome there were still questions over the scope of the Government’s ambition to fix the issue.

Chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage Giles Bristow said: “It’s great to see the Government fast-tracking investment on the decades-old issue of sewage pollution.

“The informed and angry voices of constituents across the UK are clearly making those in power listen and take visible actions to address the sewage scandal.

“Despite today’s welcome announcement, questions still remain on the scale and scope of the Government’s ambitions for our rivers and seas. We’ll be watching closely to ensure that it’s the polluters, not the consumer, that pays to clean up this mess.”

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